Recruitment agencies – the good, the bad and the brilliant

With easier access to job seekers, thanks to LinkedIn, and the reputation of recruitment consultants constantly in flux, in-house recruitment can be very tempting. But, is in-house recruitment the cost-saving and brand-enhancing dream you hope it is? This blog examines the benefits of specialised recruitment consultants vs in-house recruitment and how a specialist recruitment company can make all the difference.

The benefits of using a recruitment agency

Diving straight into the good stuff, there are many clear advantages to using a recruitment company.


Recruitment is time-consuming, especially when it’s not the only job on your to-do list. Using a specialist recruitment agency typically results in a faster hire because all the grunt work (sourcing candidates, screening candidates and arranging interviews) is done for you. You just need to interview and make your decision.


Using LinkedIn and free CV libraries is great, but it limits your choice of candidates. Recruitment companies have access to a larger talent pool, including passive and contract candidates who they have placed in the past.


Together, the speed and selection that recruitment companies offer results in better quality candidates. Using a recruitment agency means that you have a choice of high-calibre candidates, who have all been pre-screened for the qualities you are searching for. You’ll waste less time interviewing below-par engineers and more time deciding which engineer to choose.

The benefits of recruiting in-house

There are a number of reasons why businesses, big and small, decide to bring their recruitment in-house.


Recruitment agencies cost money. They charge a fee to handle your recruitment, often based on a percentage, and this can be more expensive than recruiting in-house. If cost is your primary concern, remember to include the value of your time when calculating the cheapest option – it might surprise you.

Cultural understanding

While a good recruitment agency will insist on meeting with you, touring your premises and closely collaborating with you to understand your culture, in-house recruiters might naturally have a better cultural understanding of your business. In most cases, this enables them to make a more informed decision on cultural fit, but in some cases it can result in bias, unconscious discrimination and stunted business performance – with no fresh perspectives or different thinking.

Branding and marketing

If you have a strong business brand, using a recruitment company can disrupt the flow. You want a consistent and seamless style, tone of voice, backstory and first impression. In-house recruitment might give you the freedom to invest in videos, branded advertisement and microsites and to test these in different places. If, however, time, money and expertise are limited, you will often find that a recruitment agency offers all of the above, as well as advertising expertise.

The benefits of a specialist recruitment agency

As you can see, recruitment agencies have their advantages but, if you have the time, money and expertise to invest in in-house recruitment, it is an attractive option. But what about a third option? A specialist recruitment company.

A specialist recruitment agency has the advantage of industry knowledge, contacts and experience – enhancing the benefits of using a recruitment company and diminishing the benefits of taking your recruitment in-house.

Access to the top engineering talent

Whether they’re active, passive or contracting, at RTRS, we maintain contact with the best engineers out there. You’ll also find that many of the top engineering talent stick with the top engineering agencies, making them hard to find elsewhere. Using a specialist engineering recruitment company therefore results in a quicker selection of the top talent – enabling you to see business improvements faster.

Specialist knowledge

Not only does expert engineering knowledge save you time in explaining your requirements, but it can also save you time later down the line. We know the up and coming skills in demand, salary and benefit trends, what your role will need in the future, and the marketing methods that will work for the position in question. You can confidently recruit for the future now.

Better business performance

A specialist agency can also result in better business performance. HR’s time is spent on more strategic matters, the top talent is performing for your business and not your competitors, your vacancy is filled and performing sooner (rather than sat empty), and you’ve had an impartial person involved in the recruitment process promoting equality and diversity.

The good, the bad and the conclusion

You might think we’re a little biased, but at RTRS we fully understand the reasons that clients previously conducted their recruitment in-house and why they chose to move to (and stay with) a recruitment company. More often than not, it’s the inexperience of the benefits that a specialist recruitment company can provide that leads companies to believe that in-house is best.

Find out for yourself by contacting us today.